This time we are showing you the Jet airways case study.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality and aviation industry suffered a major blowout. The domestic and international travels were restricted globally, and there is no chance that their suffering (read the lack of revenues) will go away in the immediate future. With countries banning international travellers and having a 14-day quarantine policy in place for the visitors, the tourism industry and along with that the airlines have to call it a pack-up for a few months. And in this realm, a few months- is all you have. This case study is showing many aspects of success and failure of jet airways is a very informative way.
The Case study About Jet – Its a Challenging Phase
The recent example of it would be Maldives or Dubai. Dubai, one of the favourite shopping destinations, is at the verge of collapse in just two months-because its major hotels had to shut down due to lack of travellers. Imagine what the pandemic has done to a city like Dubai, what it would do the aviation industry that is already struggling to reduce overhead costs and breakeven?
Jet Airways was indeed called off long before the COVID-19 but being an Indian airline player never is easy. Be it the legacy carrier like Jet or Air India, or LCC like SpiceJet or Indigo- the country happens to be one of the most robust markets to survive where the customers have to be lured by the discounts. It is home to the fastest-growing middle-class segment that believes in clinching money by the teeth. Airlines, here, bring down the ticket price to Re 1 to attract the volume and just to see through another fiscal quarter. Apart from Jet, Indian Tycoon Vijay Mallya’s luxury airline Kingfisher Airlines was grounded in the year 2012 for its inability to pay debts and the lack of operating expenses.
The advent of budget, for the lack of a better and more appropriate word, cattle-class airlines SpiceJet and IndiGo, several airlines had to follow suit. They cut their prices on tickets while they were operating a better fleet of airlines including the Boeings, offering food on the flight and were led by a more experienced team. No wonder, Jet had a most significant market share of 22.6 per cent in 2010 but had to experience a setback and forced to take a second place after IndiGo. Jet reported a reduced passenger market share of 17.8 per cent in 2017.
The Jet Airways was a success of Failure
So, what went wrong?
It wasn’t a crash when the engine makes weird spurting noises, and you don’t know what to do. Jet Airways’ failure was one of those atrocious but imminent realisations when a pilot sitting the cockpit knows that the weather is terrible, and there is heavy turbulence. After a few moments, they could see the land, albeit in a steep dive. Though it had a good run while it lasted and if there is any solace, it was the front runner of India’s air travel market and one of the most popular airlines in India throughout for its exceptional services.
Before we begin with how things went awry for Jet and Mr Goyal, let’s have a look at the dream run of Jet Airways. It is critical to understand because we are talking about a company that was ‘Vocal for Local’ long before it became a symbol of pride to tout Indian roots for a brand. It took the Indian aviation industry and transformed it. Before Jet, it was state-run and state-controlled Air India that didn’t give you any reason to write home about. Be it service or punctuality-Jet revolutionised the aviation sector and how!
The Marketing Mix Case Study of Jet Airways
Jet Airways’4 ‘P’s of Marketing were in line with its vision of being heralded as a full-service airline. Its portfolio had products including
- A fleet of 117 aircrafts comprising Boeing 737, and ATR 72-500
- Intangible products including mobile check-in for guests, a 24/7 customer care accessible via internet or mobile
- Exclusive airport lounges for ‘Jet Privilege’ (Later, InterMiles) customers
- Services for people with newborn kids, babies, expectant mothers, people with special abilities or medical issues
- The first-class seating had in-bed extra-wide room, personal television, closing cabin door, private wardrobe and exceptional food and beverage services. Economy class was a toned-down version of business-class privileges.
- It offered concessional prices and special offer for students, senior citizens and armed forces veterans to induct and normaliseair travel in the middle-class segment.
- It had banked on Influencer Marketing even when digital marketing wasn’t a norm. With the leading Indian movie actor Shahrukh Khan as its brand ambassador, it reached out to each segment of the demographics while maintaining its luxury appeal.
- The airline, however, relied on OOH advertising to convey its USPs. Following its U.S. based counterparts; the Jet Airways removed a row in its Boeing 737-800 aircraft to facilitate comfortable seating for its customers. It used a 3D billboard to sell its idea and effectively communicate the concept to the target audience.
Social Media Mix of Jet Airways
Jet Airways had Twitter, Flickr (Old-age Instagram), YouTube and Facebook page that was used by customers
The SWOT Analysis Case study for Jet Airways
Now, when Jet Airways is officially written off the market, it becomes easy to extrapolate safelyits strategy and the conditions that led to its fall.
- Only private airline with operations on international routes
- High credibility and substantial brand value in the market
- Recognised for its quality and punctual services
- Extending fleet size to accommodate new demands
- Underwhelming domestic market share
- The sudden transition to grab domestic market share when faced competition from low-cost carriers
- High prices for economy class
- Not responding to the challenges of low-cost airlines in time
- Failing to understand Indian consumers’ mindset
- Domestic market
- Long haul flights
- Bankable and usefulmodern technology
- Comfortable and spacious plane seats
- Saturation in tourism
- Reduced fair but not considerably enough for middle-class
- Increasing wages, operational and overhead costs to maintain a fleet
- Competition from international carriers
History – The Takeoff of Jet Airways
The airline was founded by Mr Naresh Goyal on April 1, 1992. It commenced its first flight on May 5, 1993, and until its last trip on April 17, 2019 –the sky was the limit.
Jet airways always had Boeing 737 in its fleet. The Boeings are easy to maintain and manoeuvre. They are fuel-efficient too. This is why the airline was able to rule the Indian sky in such a short span. The daily number of flights operating was higher. The operations were leaner and entirely seamless. While Indian Airlines had almost 400 employees for an aircraft, Jet was doing with only 160. The flight crew training was considerably more straightforward. Still, the inspiration for providing avant-garde services to its customers that Air India couldn’t offer came from abroad where customer service is taken rather seriously.
When it commenced its operations, it was the only carrier in the private sector. There was no Vistara, Sahara, SpiceJet or IndiGo to challenge its monopoly. There couldn’t be a better time to be up in the air.
Jet Airways was a Successful venture in India
While making jet airways case study, its found that: It received its scheduled airline status on January 14, 1995. By 1996-1997, it had grabbed the second-highest share of twenty per cent following closely after the government-owned Indian Airlines. It had made a record of flying more than 2.3 million passengers in two years. Its fleet included for Boeing 737-400 and six Boeing 737-800 aircrafts worth $375 million.
It was the first Southeast Asian airline to boast of a 737-800 in its fleet. Within a short span of five years of its commencement, it was flying twelve Boeing 737 aircraft to twenty-three domestic destinations daily for more than eighty-three times!
In the year 1997, The Cabinet Committee on Foreign Investment or CCFI reversed its decision of allowing foreign carriers to take a maximum forty per cent equity stake. Following which, Goyal took the control back in his hands from Jet’s foreign investors. It was announced in 1999 at the Paris Air Show that the airlines would include a fleet of ten Boeing 737-800 aircraft worth $550 million. Soon, in 2001, it became the first buyer of Boeing 737-400 simulator and the leading Indian carrier to operate more than 195 flights to 37 Indian destinations. The case study about jet Airways shows its a successful venture.
However, the Indian aviation industry soon experienced a paradigm shift. The airline travel, which was considered to be a privilege of the upper-middle-class and high-class segment, was now finally within reach of the middle class. People who would travel in a local train or a bus could eventually make their dream of flying in an aeroplane a reality. Enter SpiceJet and Indigo, with their congested aircraft, seating for three with barely any leg space and sorry, no food on-the-go. If you want a better seat or have trouble with space or want an aisle seat, you need to shell out extra money that isn’t included in the ticket.
When did Jet Faces its first Loss?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that after these two budget airlines commenced their operations, Jet faced losses for the first time that very few knew was going to be a trend for the airline and eventually turned to be a bleeding asset in the years to come. In 2002, the airline’s deal for ten aircraft at Farnborough air show worth $520 billion fell through for lack of money. It became evident that once the leading player in the Indian aviation industry couldn’t keep up its ambition, for, it failed to read the pulse of India’s fastest-growing segment.
Next year, in 2003, the Government of India allowed the private carriers to launch international operations in South Asia and Jet Airways, geared up for its maiden international flight from Chennai to Colombo in 2004.
The very same year saw Jet becoming a public company and get listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Government of India also allowed Indian airline companies to operate all over the world except the Middle East. Jet Airways was also granted authority to enforce its services to Heathrow Airport in London enabling the airline to take off its first ‘truly’ international flight, a long-haul, subleased, two classes Airbus A340-300s.
Following the Government of India’s extension on foreign ownership limit to forty-nine per cent, Etihad bought a forty-nine per cent stake in Jet. In contrast, Goyal retained fifty-one per cent of it saving it from falling when it was cash-strapped. Jet also launched an IPO in 2005 and raised some interest leading to institutional, retail and non-institutional oversubscription. It raised approximately INR 19 billion, making the founder, Naresh Goyal, a billionaire on paper.
When Did Jet Airways Introduced JetLite?
In 2006, the Jet Airways wanted to acquire another cash-starved airline Air Sahara in a cash deal worth US$500 million, but the deal didn’t go through. However, the deal was successful for US$200 in 2007, and Air Sahara was rechristened as JetLite to proposition the middle-class segment, the new-age cash-conscious customers of India. JetLite was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jet Airways and a full-service aircraft line. The case study about jet Airways shows that It was good move taken by Jet.
The airline collaborated with Kingfisher Airlines for Frequent-Flyer Program, sharing of the crew and ground-handling equipment and along with code-sharing for flights. It also launched Jet Konnect, another low-cost brand of ATR 72 and Boeing 737 to operate on profitable routes and with a higher load of passengers in 2008.
Despite its acquisitions and efforts to stay afloat, it was clear that Jet Airways had trouble sustaining as a profitable model. It laid off 1,900 employees, who were reinstated after theMinistry of Civil Aviation, India intervened.
Even though it went on to become the largest airline in India with more than twenty-two per cent share in the financial year of 2009-2010, it also became the first domestic airline in India to stop serving meat products during flight and liquids in the check-in luggage.
When Did Jet Airways saw a Dark phase of its Life?
The bankruptcy of Kingfisher airlines led Jet management to merge JetLite and Jet Konnect- and eventually offering a business-class-like seating arrangement in domestic flights too.
While making the case study its found that, the end of 2013, however, brought the airline to face the fight of survival. It entered into the market of a price war with IndiGo and SpiceJet. It didn’t stop Jet airways’ stock from falling or its reputation in the market. By 2013, it was able to post some profits after reporting a loss for two years.
In its bid to outrun the low-cost carriers and growing competition, it phased out Jet Konnect in 2014, merged it with Jet Airways ultimately and re-positioned it in the market as a full-service airline in the same space with Vistara and Air India. Simultaneously, it closed its hub at Brussels Airport and replaced it witha new one at Amsterdam Airport in 2016.
Many experts believe that Jet Airways crumbled under the pressure of its expansion plan. It kept on expanding its fleet of Boeing and depleting its cash reserve eventually. There wasn’t anything wrong with global aspirations or on international routes, but it forgot to keep the sustainability of its operation and competition into account. High operating costs and the inability to cope with the demand for low fares made the lessors from Dublin, Spain and Dubai anxious and left the management with no option to bounce back in the fold.
When Did Jet Faces a Dramatic Crisis?
The dramatic crisis, be it the laying off its employees, the crude oil prices and the falling value of rupee added fuel to the fire. Out of its life of twenty-six years of establishment and ten years of operation, it posted a loss for eight years. While it expanded its operation on 600 domestic and 380 international routes- it went on to ground more than fifty aircraft.
The incidents like the pilot forgetting to optimise aircraft cabin pressure went viral and caused an irreparable dent in the reputation of the airlines. The case study about jet airways is full of knowledge about how a company moves to the top and sudden fall down because of its actions.
Finally, the imminent happened. The airline had to cease operation due to incurring losses in 2017. The majority of its fleet was grounded for non-payment asitfailed to abide by the lease agreements. Amidst the reports of the airline “trying” to retain some liquidity, the founder Mr Naresh Goyal and his wife Anitha Goyal resigned from their posts of Board of Directors. India’s largest multinational company Tata Group initially wanted to buy stakes and redeem the airline. Still, it retracted its step once Mr Goyal refused to step off from his position in the board.
Jet Airways Case Study has shown its non payment to the partner companies.
Meanwhile, the Indian Oil Corporation stopped providing oil to the airline for non-payment. In April 2018, the lenders rejected the plea of releasing emergency funding of Rs 4 billion and it had to cease its operation. Its membership with IATA was suspended too. Its partners Hinduja Group and Etihad Airways also showed reluctance to buy it off and save the damsel in distress once again.
The Government of India also intervened and asked the nationalised banks Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to buy a third of the stake in the airline. Finding an investor was the last hope to keep it viable until a new buyer is located or, is available. However, it all failed.
The creditors seized aircraft due to non-payment,and only seven remained operational.And this is when Jet Airways surrendered and filed for bankruptcy.
The fall and fall of Jet Airways
The Aviation Industry termed Jet’s failure as a ‘wake-up’ call. SpiceJet leased out thirty Jet Airways planes to expand its operations. Chief Ajay Singh felt the untimely collapse of an iconic brand like Jet was ‘very sad’ and that the policymakers’ callous attitude towards industry needed to be changed.
Apart from high costs, internal clashes and failing to take timely decision to revive its businesswereamong the many reasons behind Jet Airways’ failure. At times, when Indian customers would take a 36-hour train and not buy a ticket on a 2-hour plane, it didn’t realise it is the money that matters for them and not the time or high-density seating with no space for legs.
Many good things found during the making of jet Airways case study. They don’t care for the extra or hidden cost for something as essential as food or pay-for-your-luggage tags. The Jet Airways, which was once the favourite carrier of the middle-class segment, was left for LCC, which was growing at twice the pace vis-à-vis Europe or North America.
Besides, the management’s decision to buythe ageing fleet of Sahara Airlines didn’t fit and was proved to be a fatal decision for the company. With IndiGo and SpiceJet chipping away in its domestic share, it tried to switch places and to react to the competitive strategy of these low-cost carriers. But it failed to realise that the fleets of IndiGo, GoAir or SpiceJet are designed for low price whereas Jet had always been envisioned as a full-flight service with excellent service.
The consistency in brand value was gone, and it was substituted by the reaction to the market share. It left the customers confused and leaving the Jet’s customer base for good. It added aircrafts right, left and centre to its fleet without understanding that the expansion not onlyextending the fleet but the customers also. It let go of the maintenance and lower economy strata that its competitors were catering to.
The Case Study About Jet Airways shows that it was Upper Class Airways
At a time, when even a migrant labourer could afford an Indigo ticket to get back to its home in the same price of a train ticket, Jet was still out of its reach. But the double whammy for Jet was its upper-middle-class, and high-class customers were deserting it too for better and prompt services of its customers. Resultantly, Jet had a rapid drop in domestic share market, but by the time it realised its folly and tried to get back to its original proposition, it was a day late and a dollar short.
Jet Airways’ rise and fall are phenomenal for several reasons. Its founder, Naresh Goyal, was the ideal of many entrepreneurs out there. From earning a meagre income of Rs 300 as a cashier to wake up to finding himself the Forbes’ 16th richest Indian person is sure a meteoric rise and inspirational.
Jet was the future. Or it was believed so. It was a private airline in the Indian skies among the bureaucratic policies and government-run behemoth airlines. Bold enough to chase its dreams. It gave Indian consumers an option to choose from, and it did deliver on those expectations for as long as it lasted.
Though, it failed to reinvent and realigned its marketing strategy. After a decade of operations, it was unable to catch on with the young ‘uns of aviation industry that might be thriving on “churnalism” but delivering nonetheless despite the similar variables such as fuel prices, competition and value of Indian rupee at play.